Modern Prairie House

Modern Prairie House

Chad Overway
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Turning a dream into reality 

The Modern Prairie House is comprised of a 325 m² main residence, a large garage and an additional guest house located in heart of Sonoma Wine Country, California. It took Chad Overway, the designer, builder, and homeowner on the project, two years to transform the concept for his forever home into a reality. 

Chad Overway spent a large portion of his professional career developing commercial projects for the hospitality industry. He holds a passion for residential development driving the process from beginning to end while being able to see the vision come to life.

As an owner of the Schiff house designed by Richard Neutra, constructed in 1938, Chad has an affinity for European modern architecture. He spent years refurbishing the masterpiece back to its original condition after purchasing the property in the early 90s. 

The layout of the Modern Prairie House was inspired by the living spaces from residences owned by the Overways throughout the years. Organization of the space took shape through the structural design with dramatic clear spans supported by a minimalistic colonnade. Few walls divide the wide-open public spaces from the private zones of the house. Jeppe Larsen, a Danish structural engineer came up with the innovative framing plan. Absent of any traditional sheer walls, the house is supported by 4’-5’ deep pier footings with a 2’ layer of concrete wrapped around the vertical support columns.

The basic skeleton structure, which took 1.5 months to erect, is comprised of materials typically seen on commercial buildings, including structural steel framing, steel deck and HVAC air handlers.

Reynaers Aluminum windows and doors were selected for the project based on the high quality of the product, broad color options and superior structural capabilities. The light bronze anodized finish, chosen for its metallic sheen and natural look, sets the tone for all the other colors incorporated within the design.

“The thermal performance of Reynaers windows and doors is unmatched” stated Chad Overway. The energy consultant for project commented that Reynaers fenestration solutions played a critical part in exceeding the requirements set forth by Title 24, an energy focused component of the California building code.  “Energy costs for the nearly 370 m² under roof are less than two hundred dollars a month.” 

The artistic front door, framed in Reynaers Aluminum, encompasses laminated acoustic glass with rice paper texture sandwiched between the glass layers and topped with laser cut aluminum in an organic tangled pattern providing a dramatic statement to the entrance of the house.

Rob Kurucz of Innovative Glass Solutions in Napa installed all of the windows & doors on the project.  Because of his familiarity with products like Reynaers, the dry glazing process was both easy to work with and contributed to a simplified installation. “Reynaers technical service and field service teams were quick to respond to any questions and were very helpful throughout the process” stated Chad. 

Associated Building Supply (ABSi) supplied the Reynaers windows & doors for the project. ABSi is a premier retailer of windows and doors for the discriminating custom homebuilder, homeowner, and architect. Their high-end showrooms display market specific products and include a customer friendly environment so project stakeholders can conduct meetings while at the same time touch & feel products. “ABSi takes pride in accurately selling and delivering products that turn the dreams of homeowners into a reality” Scott Thurber, Co-owner, Associated Building Supply.

Architects: 
Chad Overway
Location: 
United States of America
Photographer: